21.40 Back to basics


The 77% Weekly
The 40/52-weeks-a-year, quick-reading, thought-lingering, spiritual-religious newsletter.

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21/40 From the desk of Rabbi Brian



Back to Basics     

40/52 = 0.77 = 77%  

We are halfway through the year.  Issue 21 out of 40.

Let me take this opportunity to tell or refresh you as to why this newsletter is called The 77% Weekly.
The simple answer is that it is published 40 out of 52 weeks of the year. It goes out every Monday, except for the last Monday of the month; like last week. r40 divided by 52 is approximately 77%. And in school, 77% is considered a passing grade.
And, here’s the important thing: Life is not graded – it’s pass/fail.
We push ourselves too hard. We strive to get 100%, we tell ourselves we must get an A or an A+ in this thing called life, and that anything less is unacceptable. We push ourselves so hard that we have this tendency to end up stressed out and missing the point.
My friend Robin recently did a favor for me and my family.  She was able to get us three free tickets to something.  For some time, she thought she was able to get us four tickets; but, at ticket booth, it turned out she was only able to get three.  She apologized profusely for not being able to get us the fourth.  I was amazed at this; yet I understood it.   She, like many of us, expect so much of ourselves and have a hard time seeing the amount of good that we are doing or have done.
Life is not graded – it’s pass/fail.
There was an old joke in rabbinical school:

Q: What do they call the person who graduates at the bottom of the class in Rabbinical School?

A: “Rabbi.”

The prayer classes I took were all pass/fail. (Wouldn’t it be odd to think that a religious leader got a “D” in prayer?)
In the same way, life is pass/fail.
Think about this – achieving a 77% passing grade means you can make errors 23% of the time. You can get it wrong 23% of the time, and still pass successfully.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t give myself permission to make that many errors.
But what if you and I were compassionate towards ourselves when we make mistakes. We’re human, after all.
I need to remember to be kind to myself. I must remember that it’s not about getting an A all the time. I only need to get a 77%.
(And, as I advised in issue 5/40, we need to stop expecting others to be perfect, too.)
Regardless of your theology, think for a moment about God’s point of view. (I am just using the term God for a moment, not implying any belief in an external deity). Would God give you a passing grade? Would God be proud of you just for being you? For dealing with life the very best way you can? I think the answer ought to be a resounding yes.

Spiritual-religious advice: Stop grading yourself. You are doing OK.  Life isn’t graded. 


With love,

Rabbi Brian

Rabbi Brian

The 77% Weekly

The 77% Weekly: The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter
helps people find and be with (the) God (of their understanding) 40 out of 52 weeks a year.


Why 77%?
Two reasons:
1) 40/52 = 0.76923. The newsletter is sent every Monday except the last of each month.
2) In school 77% was a passing grade and ROTB is delighted to remind you that life isn’t graded.

Religion-Outside-The-Box is a donation-supported,
non-denominational, internet-based, 501c3-tax exempt religious congregation.


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